Monday, 7 May 2018

Gabapentin Vs Lyrica: Why Would You Take Either of Them For Neuropathy!

Today's post from (see link below) makes for astonishing reading on the face of it. It's a comparison of two of the most commonly prescribed drugs for nerve damage (neuropathy), both of which being anti-epilepsy drugs and neither of which were ever intended for nerve damage. The comparison is purely factual and non-judgmental and presents the facts without bias. With both drugs, the mechanisms of how they work to reduce nerve pain are not understood and yet they are multi-million dollar pharmaceutical best-sellers! You have to ask yourself why! Is this clever marketing on behalf of the drug companies, or are their benefits proven? The problem is that if you read this article and especially the potential side effects, you have to ask yourself why any sane person would take the risks and take them! The answer lies in the vulnerability of the neuropathy patient. He or she generally has no idea of the side effects or components of the drugs before they begin and even if they read the small print later, are so desperate to find something that will help relieve their pain, they'll accept the doctor's advice and embark on a journey with unknown outcomes. Isn't it time we started questioning what we swallow?

Horizant vs Lyrica – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects



It is the brand name of a drug called gabapentin which is part of a group of drugs called anticonvulsants.

The medication was first approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993.


This medication is used for:

the pain of diabetic neuropathy;
postherpetic neuralgia;
treating hot flashes in women who are being treated for breast cancer;

Mechanism of Action

Its mechanisms are not completely understood, but, it is known that gabapentin increases GABA levels in the brain. 


The usual initial recommended dosage is 300 mg once per day. The dosage is increased every 3 to 5 days with 600 mg a day.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done clinical studies to determine whether this anticonvulsant is safe for pregnant women. If you are pregnant or may fall pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking the anticonvulsant.

This anticonvulsant can pass into breast milk, but the effects on breastfeeding babies are unknown. 

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:
problems with the eyes;
swelling of the hands or feet;
coordination problems.

Less common side effects may include: 

trouble breathing;
upper stomach pain;
little or no urination;
increased seizures;
worsening cough with fever;
severe tingling or numbness;
chest pain;
severe weakness or tiredness;
painful or difficult urination;
problems with muscle movement;
rapid eye movement.

To make sure that this anticonvulsant is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:

liver disease;
kidney disease;
heart disease;
a seizure;
suicidal thoughts or actions;
a mood disorder.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:
opiate pain medications;
medications used for heartburn;
ferrous gluconate;
naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).


Drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this anticonvulsant may increase the risk of side effects or may make some side effects of the medication more severe. 


It is the brand name of a drug called pregabalin which is part of a class of drugs called anticonvulsants.


This prescription medication is used to control epilepsy, a condition when one experiences repeated seizures.

In addition, it is used to treat neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia.

Note – this medication is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. 

Mechanism of Action

It works by slowing impulses across the brain which are involved in seizures. 


For diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the initial recommended dose is 50 mg per day. After one week of treatment, the dosage may be increased to a maximum dose of 100 mg per day.

For postherpetic neuralgia, the usual recommended dose is 50-100 mg per day. After 30 days of treatment, the dose may be increased to 200 mg per day.

For fibromyalgia, the usual recommended dose is 300 to 450 mg per day. For seizures, the usual recommended dose is 150 to 600 mg per day. For neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, the initial recommended dose is 150 to 600 mg per day. 


Unlike other, more addictive prescription medications, Lyrica is not likely to cause a physical dependence or a chemical addiction.
Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include: 

fatigue (tiredness);
blurred vision;
edema (accumulation of fluid);
abnormal gait (ataxia);
dry mouth (xerostomia);
difficulty concentrating;
double vision (diplopia);

Less common side effects may include: 

muscle cramps;
muscle twitching;
kidney stones;
suicidal thoughts;
change in sensitivity to touch;
increased heart rate;
muscle pain;
excessive salivating;
urinary problems. 

Drug Interactions

This anticonvulsant may negatively interact with the following drugs:
drugs used to treat anxiety, like – lorazepam (Ativan);
heart drugs, like – enalapril (Vasotec) or captopril (Capozide);
drugs for mental illness;
sleeping pills;
medication for seizures;
narcotic pain drugs, like – oxycodone (Percocet);
some drugs for diabetes, including – rosiglitazone (Avandia) or pioglitazone (Duetact).
READ Ephedrine vs Adderall - Compare Differences Between Uses & Side Effects

To make sure this anticonvulsant is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
angioedema (a severe allergic reaction);
a bleeding disorder;
an allergic reaction to any type of medicine;
suicidal thoughts;
any type of drug addiction;
low levels of platelets in the blood;
heart problems, particularly congestive heart failure;
diabetes (unless you are taking this anticonvulsant to treat diabetic neuropathy);
kidney disease. 

High & Abuse

There are some anecdotal reports of people using this medication to experience an elevated mood or “get high.”
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This anticonvulsant may pass into the mother’s milk, therefore, if you are breastfeeding a baby, do not take it.

Also, there are no conclusive studies regarding the safe use of this anticonvulsant by pregnant women.

According to studies, high doses of this anticonvulsant did not show toxic effects. But, it is important to take it precisely as your doctor prescribed.

Alcohol can cause sleepiness, and when mixed with this anticonvulsant, it can considerably increase the sleepiness and drowsiness as well as the risk of side effects of taking this medication. 

Bottom Line – Horizant vs Lyrica

Horizant (active ingredient – gabapentin) is a prescription medication which is used to treat adults with nerve pain caused by shingles. Also, it is used in combination with other drugs to treat partial seizures. This drug was designed to mimic the neurotransmitter GABA.

Lyrica (active ingredient – pregabalin) is a medication that is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia.

According to studies, Lyrica is more potent than horizant when compared. Also, unlike gabapentin, Lyrica absorption is independent of dose.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 30 tablets of Horizant 600mg is $402, while the average retail price for 60 capsules of Lyrica 75mg is $435. References

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments welcome but advertising your own service or product will unfortunately result in your comment not being published.